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Associated Press (AP): Maine Group Launches Bid to Put Minimum Wage Boost on Ballot

Associated Press, April 16, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine - A Maine group is launching a bid to put a proposal to raise the minimum wage on the ballot next year. Mainers for Fair Wages ... wants to raise the wage from $7.50 an hour to $9 an hour in 2017. It would then go up a dollar a year until it hits $12 in 2020; from then on, adjustments would be made based on the cost of living.

Jim Wellehan, who owns Lamey-Wellehan Shoes and supports the effort, said Thursday that he believes raising the wage...

Fortune: Jeff Furman: What corporate America should do for low-wage workers

Embracing a living wage is good for business, and good for all

Op-Ed By Jeff Furman, Chair of the Ben & Jerry's Board of Directors

Fortune, April 9, 2015

... It’s a moral disgrace that so many hard-working Americans have to scrape to get by on a minimum wage that is 25% below what it was in 1968. It’s also bad for business.

I chair the board of a company —Ben & Jerry’s—that has had a livable wage policy for about 20 years. Exact wage levels are determined by local costs of living. In Vermont...

WCSH6 Portland: Bangor town hall discussing raising the minimum wage

WCSH6 Portland (ME), April 9, 2015

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – On Thursday, there was a town hall style meeting at Abraham Lincoln School in Bangor, to discuss the merits of raising the minimum wage in Bangor. ... The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour and the state's minimum is $7.50 per hour. ...

The majority of attendees support the increase in minimum wage including Jim Wellehan from Lamey-Wellehan Shoes.

"If we raise the minimum wage properly, people will have more pride in their life and their work, and more ability to provide...

Newsmax: 5 Quotes From Small, Local Business Owners on Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage

By Karen Ridder
Newsmax, April 8, 2015

According to the U.S. Department of Labor some small business owners think an increase in the federal minimum wage would potentially benefit their bottom line. These business owners see the wage increase as a way to lift consumer purchasing power and help the economy.

Here are five quotes form small business owners, some who support and some who are leery of increasing minimum wage requirements:

"It's absurd that the minimum wage is still just $7.25, while people have rising expenses from rent and transportation to tuition and student...

Herald Mail: Local lawmakers skeptical of proposed Pa. minimum wage bill

Herald Mail (MD), April 7, 2015

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania state representative has proposed a bill to raise the state's minimum wage, but two Franklin County lawmakers are skeptical of the bill's intentions.

The bill proposed by Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, would increase the minimum wage from the current $7.25 per hour to $9 per hour 60 days after it passes, then to $10.10 per hour a year later. The bill also would include an annual cost-of-living adjustment beginning in January 2016. ...

Alissa Barron-Menza, vice president of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage...

Arkansas Business: Wal-Mart Sets Off Minimum Wage Race

By Mark Friedman
Arkansas Business, Apr 6, 2015

Wal-Mart Store Inc.’s announcement in February that it would start paying employees $9 an hour this year and $10 in 2016 touched off a minimum wage arms race. ...

“Certainly it’s great that they did this,” said Alissa Barron-Menza, vice president for Boston-based Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, which calls itself a national network of business organizations, business owners and executives who believe a fair minimum wage makes good business sense. “At the same time, many employers are already at this level or higher. And so we believe that they should have done more.”

KTHV Little Rock: Walmart leads way to higher wages

KTHV, Little Rock, Ark, April 6, 2015

When Walmart announced in February that nearly 500,000 of its workers would be getting a raise, it started a minimum wage arms race.

This week, Arkansas Business looks at how other companies including McDonald's, T.J. Maxx and Target followed in Walmart's footsteps. ...

Analysts say that higher pay should help with recruiting and retaining employees. While few would complain about a pay raise, there are some who say Walmart hasn't gone far enough.

A Boston-based group called "Business for a Fair Minimum Wage" said many employers are already...

ABC 27 (PA): Small business owners weigh in on bill to raise minimum wage

By Kendra Nichols
ABC 27 WHTM (PA), April 2, 2015

Representative Patty Kim wants to see some movement on her bill to raise the state minimum wage to $10.10. ... Opponents of House Bill 250 argue raising the minimum wage would hurt small businesses.

“That is not actually majority opinion in the small business community,” said Alissa Barron-Menza, vice president of Business for Fair Minimum Wage. “As folks have a little bit more money to spend, that gets turned right back around into buying needed goods and services they couldn’t afford before.”

Huffington Post: Why Corporate America Is Finally Raising Wages

By Alexander Kaufman
Huffington Post, April 2, 2015

Some of the country’s biggest employers are finally raising wages amid mounting pressure from protesters and a hardier job market.

McDonald’s on Wednesday became the latest major company to give workers -- albeit a fraction of its total workforce -- a pay bump that will lift average hourly pay to $9.90 from $9.01. The move, which will go into effect on July 1, follows a similar change made in February by Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer.

Mainebiz Daily: Lamey-Wellehan President Jim Wellehan creates a legacy of advocacy and fairness

By Dylan Martin
Mainebiz Daily, Mar 23, 2015

2015 Business Leader of the Year

Ask Jim Wellehan what it means to be a business leader, and for his initial response, you likely won't hear him mention Lamey-Wellehan, his 100-year-old, Auburn-based family retail shoe business. Instead, he'll bring up a word that means a great deal to him: community. ... [A]ll associates are paid above the minimum wage, with the lowest earners making $11.90 to $19 an hour, commission included, and managers earning between the low- and mid-40s annually. ...